Kirk Douglas gives another $5 million to Los Angeles mission
Kirk Douglas donated an additional $5 million to a homeless women's center in Los Angeles' Skid Row neighborhood, doubling his original pledge.
The generous $10 million donation was even a surprise to Douglas' wife Anne, for whom the charity is named after. The pair made their initial $5 million pledge in July, to continue their support of the Anne Douglas Center for Women at the Los Angeles Mission.
The Anne Douglas Center offers a year-long rehabilitation program for homeless women - providing shelter, meals, clothing, career kills and development, and relationship and spiritual counseling. The program follows with a transition program which helps the women become independent outside of the Mission.
On September 12, when the center celebrated its 20th anniversary, the 95-year-old actor honored his wife with a Woman of the Year award, for her work at the shelter.
In his speech, he said that Anne told him she wanted to do something good for her country when they wed 57-years earlier and he said she has never stopped.
"If I had but one wish, I think becoming a recognized patron of homeless men and women would be it," Anne Douglas said. "I hope together we will be able to alleviate their plight entirely."
The Center for Women wing was opened in 1992, thanks to the efforts of Anne Douglas. More than 250 women have graduated from the program since its inception.
"The story is that Mr. and Mrs. Douglas were visiting the old Los Angeles Mission in the late 1980s and she asked about homeless women," Mission President Herb Smith told LA Downtown News in a statement. "There were some sheets hanging from a wire, and they pulled them back to show a couple of bunk beds. Mrs. Douglas looked at her husband and said, 'That's unacceptable, we have to do something about that.'"
Kirk and Anne Douglas regularly serve the homeless at the Los Angeles Mission's annual Thanksgiving dinner. In the past, they have been joined by the likes of Harrison Ford, Nia Long, Calista Flockhart, Tony Danza, Jason Ritter, Minnie Driver and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Kirk Douglas and his first wife Diana Dill are parents to actor Michael Douglas and producer Joel Douglas and grandparents to Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez. Douglas and Anne, his second wife, are parents to producer Peter Douglas and the late actor Eric Douglas, who died of a drug overdose in 2004.